“Take a chance for yourself, because no one else will”
Womennovator Shital Somani was born in Ambajogai village in Latur district of Maharashtra. Her father is a retired officer of Maharashtra bank and mother is a housewife. She has completed her education in the medical field and took admission in BDS at CSMSS Dental College Aurangabad. She became a dentist. But, she was searching for more than just settling as a regular job person. Ambajogai belongs to Marathwada region in Maharashtra, where thousands of farmers committed suicide every year. After putting their time, blood and sweat into the work, they didn’t get enough revenue.
She chose to help such farmers and approached Vaibhav Tidke who is a chemical engineer.
Vaibhav developed a low-cost Solar Dryer to reduce post-harvest losses and increase the shelf life of the produce. So farmers don’t need to throw away the produce or sell at low cost.
Shital began working with Vaibhav to implement their technology in the rural areas. During this time period, they both faced a lot of problems like gender bias, resistance to new technology, etc.
These dryers help farmers to reduce their losses of perishable agro products which otherwise got wasted. Also, the dried products produce from their agriculture product are sold in the market at the higher value.
Presently, Shital and her team have been successful in installing across 22 states in India and more countries.
More than 2000 units are installed on the ground helping to generate additional income for about 10,000 people. Half of these are women farmers, which is again a good iterative towards women empowerment.
Her vision is to empower the rural women farmers with the help of simple on-the-farm food processing technology, which will reduce their losses & help them earn 50% extra income.